Media and Telecommunications Predictions for 2013

Last night I attended a talk by Duncan Stewart, Deloitte Canada’s Director of Research for Technology. The topic was Media and Telecommunications predictions for 2013.

Duncan started the evening by dispelling the myth that mobile devices are taking over for the PC. Yes sales figures this year seem to indicate that the number of mobile devices has exceeded sales of PC’s but that does not change the fact that the PC is still the workhorse of the business user.

90% of traffic on the world’s networks is PC based and Duncan pointed out one key factor that I had not realized. By 2014 we will run out of spectrum for new mobile devices. When this happens, calls will drop more frequently and data will slow down. Hybrid networks that combine Wifi, LTE and 3G will have to be put in place to keep things working.

The next point that he wanted to make was that there is significant growth and money in “Big Data”. “Big Data” is what governments and companies like Visa deal with in order to track fraud and terrorists. In the USA every phone conversation is monitored 7 X 24. When I recently bought two monitors in Hamilton, I got a call on my cell from visa before I got to the checkout. Sorting through transactional data requires massive data arrays and extreme processing power.

As a side note we had the talk on passwords. The current state of processing technology is such that for a 300K investment in hardware you can crack any 8 character password in 12 hours. There are people actually doing that and posting the results.

The last sector that was discussed was “cutting the chord”. This has been done for home phone and is now in the process of being done for cable. It was no surprise to discover that the people that watch TV the most are the low income, less educated sector but some of the numbers were just insane. The bottom line on this segment is that there will be no significant changes in 2013.

I asked a question about increased data rates to the home and Duncan feels that we won’t see changes any time soon.

I guess the biggest revelation for me was the lack of spectrum in 2014. I suspect that will have a significant impact on how we currently live.

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